That new 4-3-3 formation was the top topic at Sounders training today.
That's the focus of my story in the Tuesday paper, but here are a few of the comments we heard:
Coach SIGI SCHMIDOffensively, I thought it was our best output of the season in terms of being able to get behind defenses and play well. It allowed us to get Zakuani into more different parts of the field, it allowed him to get into the middle more, which I think helped him. He got the goal from there. We’ve got to get him not being a straightforward winger all the time, so I think it was helpful that way. Defensively, I think we solved most of the problems that we needed to. And now we just have to work on our cohesion that everybody understands what the duties and responsibilities are.
KASEY KELLER:I think what it did in third formation, we were able to put a little bit more pressure on their backs when they had the ball. There’s still room for improvement, but at times they had to clear balls for awkward positions and gave us possession in the middle of the field in better positions to move it forward as opposed to just letting teams dribble 30 or 40 yards out, clear the ball deep in our half and we have to start all over again from deep back by myself. On that side of it, it’s a lot easier to score goals when you win possession on their third of the field. The more pressure we can put on teams on that side of it, the easier we’re going to get countering and scoring goals. Hopefully that will continue to improve, and I saw a lot more improvement on that side of it in the last game out of that formation.
BRAD EVANS"I really like it. I think it confused them for sure. We watched the video again today and it was just dominance in all parts of the field: midfield and forward. And talking to their guys afterward, they didn't know what to do. Obviously if we play five games before that and they are able to watch tape, they'd know what to do better. So as the season goes on, teams start to figure out what they can and can't do. I think if they have an out-and-out winger that's going to push forward that will cause us some trouble. But other than that I think everybody liked it. We like the possession we had. We like the number of opportunities that we had. For myself, the Thursday-Sunday was quite a load on the legs. And the first half also, as I was able to get forward a lot. So fatigued in the second half. But overall I thought it was good. It was pretty successful."